Community Calendar

Where: 1316 Snake Road Alpine, TX 79830

Build A Brick Shithouse
March 12th through 18th

This workshop is about building an outhouse but it is also about alchemy; two forms of alchemy that have sustained human life for millennia: composting and earth building. The word Alchemy comes from an ancient Egyptian word for the black mud of the Nile, a mysterious substance that could be used to make the desert grow food or to build homes and cities. Participants will learn to turn raw earth into durable walls, and human waste into fertile soil as we construct a free-standing dry aerobic composting toilet from compressed earth block. Renowned earth-builder Jim Hallock will teach the many aspects of earth block construction from the ground up, including soil testing, and mix design, compressed earth block machinery and production, rubble-trench foundations and grade beams, earthen mortars, laying CEB masonry, forming bond beams, and exterior plaster. Architect and SCA Director Bob Estrin will give an overview of on-site waste management and the design of robust

Spring 2023 Student Volunteer Program
February 26 – March 18
March 26 – April 15

The School of Constructive Arts is recruiting Students interested in regenerative construction, agriculture, ecology, and experiential learning. The Student Volunteer program is at the core of SCA’s plan to teach through building and build through teaching. Student Volunteers learn a range of skills while working on building facilities for future student volunteers to use. In addition to building projects, past Student Volunteers have helped organize community events, taught arts workshops, and participated in field trips to Ojinaga, The Chinati Foundation, The McDonald Observatory, and Big Bend National Park. Student Volunteers are central to SCA’s self-sustaining, free-education model and essential to realizing its mission. self-contained systems.

Arches, Vaults, and Domes
April 10th through 11th or April 15th through 16th

There is something captivating about arches, vaults, and domes. The ability to bridge large spans with heavy earth or stone has been practiced, refined, and admired for much of human history, but is increasingly rare in modern construction despite the undeniable elegance, longevity, and efficiency of these techniques. Students will get a hands-on introduction to this ancient art while participating in the construction of a large barrel-vault roof. The theory and structural principles of arches, vaults, domes and other thin shell structures will be covered. Renowned earth builder Jim Hallock will teach many aspects of earth block construction including soil testing, mix design, compressed earth block machinery and production, earthen mortar, and lime plaster.